Message from the READ Trust Fund Program Managers

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to the 6th edition of the READ Trust Fund newsletter! We are excited to share with you the important progress that the READ Trust Fund countries have been making in implementing their grant activities. This past quarter has also offered us several learning opportunities on the topic of student assessment. One such event was the South Asia Regional Conference on Using Large-Scale Assessments to Improve Teaching and Learning that was organized by the READ India team on April 25-27, 2018. The Conference brought together policy makers and assessment leaders from eight South Asian countries, experts from national and international agencies, as well as representatives from outside the South Asia region (including from Vietnam, Chile and Indonesia) to share best practices and to learn from countries’ experiences in using assessment data to improve teaching and learning. The Conference was a great success, and it set the foundation for further cross-country learning and collaboration. Important outcomes of the conference are highlighted in the “Using Student Assessments to Improve Learning Across South Asia” story featured in this newsletter.

Over the last several months, the READ Trust Fund Global team had the opportunity to represent the READ Trust Fund program at a number of learning events, including at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting and at the Comparative & International Education Society (CIES) Annual Conference. The month of May also brought two study visits for the broader READ team. Colleagues from the READ Armenia team attended a study tour to Cito headquarters (Netherlands) that was organized by the Center for International Cooperation in Education Development (CICED). Topics discussed as part of the study tour included modern test development methods, best practices in data analysis, and effective approaches to maximizing the use of assessment results for decision making. Colleagues also travelled to Helsinki, Finland, where they joined a study visit focused on “Challenges of the 21st Century: Responding to Growing Inequity in Education.” We have provided the main takeaways from these learning events in “The Knowledge Frontier in Student Assessment: A roundup from recent learning events” article of this newsletter.

As the READ Trust Fund program continues, we encourage you to take advantage of learning opportunities on key topics in assessment. In this newsletter, we have provided a list of upcoming conferences that may be of interest to you; please let us know if you attend any of these or other learning events on student assessment – we would love to hear your thoughts and reflections on the key takeaways.

We hope you have a wonderful summer!

With best wishes,
Julia Liberman and Victoria Levin
READ 2 Trust Fund Program Managers

"Better assessment for better learning"


Feature Story

Using Student Assessments to Improve Learning Across South Asia

Approximately 2.2 million third, fifth, and eighth graders across all states and districts of India were recently tested for the first time on grade-relevant learning outcomes in math, language, and other subject areas as part of the National Achievement Survey (NAS). Earlier this year, the NAS was administered to over 1.5 million tenth graders. Never before has India (or most other countries for that matter) assessed student learning on such a large scale. … read more

READ Trust Fund Spotlight

READ 2 Trust Fund Country Updates
All of the eight READ 2 Trust Fund grant recipient countries continue implementing their project activities. Countries share their recent activities and achievements, as well as plans for the next three months ... read more
The Knowledge Frontier in Student Assessment: A roundup from recent learning events
What are the latest hot topics in student assessment? The READ 2 Trust Fund team is continuing on its quest to learn from top experts in the field ... read more

READ RAS Spotlight

READ 2 RAS Program Update
The READ 2 RAS Program continues supporting Russia in building the capacity of its experts and researchers in measuring and improving the quality of education. Since its launch, the Program has supported a number of important initiatives ... read more


Literacy skills gaps: how do they change over time by wealth and by gender? 
By GEM Report
While there is a focus internationally on measuring literacy and numeracy skills at age 15, as captured in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), at least two aspects are neglected in debates on learning achievement. .
.. read more
A sound investment: The benefits of large-scale learning assessments
By Silvia Montoya and David Coleman
It's time to make a much stronger case for investment in the data we need to reach Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education. 
... read more
Bad assessments are bad for learning
By Maryam Akmal
High-stakes assessments tend to have important consequences for test takers. These assessments have a strong influence on what happens in the classroom, and on the learning outcomes of children. 
... read more
Tackling the learning crisis: What if everyone would simply do their job?
By Jaime Saavedra

Investing more in human capital, that is, investing more in people, is critical for development, and governments should continued to invest in learning. ... read more
Human Capital Round-up - May 2018 Edition
By David Evans
Interesting studies on the economics of education as prepared by David Evans, Lead Economist in the Chief Economist's Office for the Africa Region of the World Bank. 
... read more

Read more Education for Global Development Blogs here.

General News Roundup and Resources

Entry Through the Narrow Door: The Costs of Just Failing High Stakes Exams
This paper examines the consequences of failing a key high stakes exam. It shows that students of the same ability have different educational trajectories depending on whether or not they pass this exam. 
... read more
Heat and Learning
This paper provides the first evidence that cumulative heat exposure inhibits cognitive skill development and that school air conditioning can mitigate this effect. Hotter school days in the year prior to the test reduce learning. ... read more
Growing Smarter: Learning and Equitable Development in East Asia and Pacific
This report focuses on the experiences East Asia and Pacific countries that expanded schooling and learning, and showcases countries that successfully pursued education reforms at scale. ... read more
Beyond Access: Exploring Equity in Early Childhood Learning and Development
Data from Save the Children’s International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) of 20,000 children across 38 countries highlights a range of early learning and development skills. ... read more
2018 STEM For All Video Showcase
On May 14th-21st 2018, 214 short videos were shared, depicting projects aimed at transforming Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science education. ... read more

Upcoming Conferences

October 29-30, 2018       Abu Dhabi, UAE
November 7-10, 2018 
Arnhem - Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Copyright © 2018 World Bank Group
For more information about the READ Trust Fund Program, contact the READ team

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